Electrical Panel - Home Inspection

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  #1  
Old 06-05-12, 12:51 PM
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Post Electrical Panel - Home Inspection

Hi,

We had our Home Inspection today and the inspector found an "unusual" wiring in the electrical panel. Instead of red and black on one circuit, it has white and black. I am not sure what the red, white or black wires mean.
I have attached a picture of the image.

Before hiring an electrician, I would like to get an idea on how each wirings works. I greatly appreciate any feedback and suggestions.

Thanks in advance!

PB
 
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  #2  
Old 06-05-12, 01:22 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

I would like to get an idea on how each wirings works.
What is the load on that breaker. That is, what does it supply?

BTW, did you fail a permit-related test, or was the inspector working for you?
 
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Old 06-05-12, 01:52 PM
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First off this is not unusual!!! Secondly, I’m not a fan of home inspectors!!! Thirdly, this “may" be a situation that can be corrected without an electrician. First answer Nashkat1’s question. Not sure what size breaker that is, but the load could be a hot water tank, heater, or any 240v appliance. Many legitimate pros (excluding home inspectors) will throw-up a red-flag because the white conductor is not re-identified. Suggestion (if it hasn’t already been done): Label your panel.
 
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Old 06-05-12, 03:03 PM
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Hold off on the electrician. This situation is totally "normal". Your inspector may have graduated from inspector school last week and they taught him differently. Unless this was a permit inspection, move on. Answer Nashkat's comment so we can be sure. It looks like 10 gauge wire and the breaker could be a 30 amp, to a dryer, etc. as SeaOn mentioned.
 
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Old 06-05-12, 04:21 PM
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That is a common setup for a straight 240 volt appliance like a air conditioner or water heater. A dryer would have a different cable type.

To correct this you could add a piece of black or red electrical tape or use a magic marker to color the white.
 
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Old 06-05-12, 06:42 PM
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The cable should have been re-identified as stated. However, the only people that are confused by this have missed out on some training to understand what is going on and why it was done this way.

Normally black and red would be for the hot wires, while white would be the neutral or return path for the current. Green or bare is your safety ground.

Straight 240 volt appliances do not require a neutral and just use two hot legs. A two conductor cable with a ground can be run for these circuits. The white is used a as hot. Years ago when people saw a white on a breaker they understood that the white was hot.
 
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Old 06-05-12, 07:14 PM
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If I was there with the inspector, I would have pulled out a marker and marked the white wire and said "There. Fixed"
 
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Old 06-05-12, 07:24 PM
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We had our Home Inspection today and the inspector found an "unusual" wiring in the electrical panel. Instead of red and black on one circuit, it has white and black.
Does your inspector belong to any professional organizations? My experience in general with home inspectors is not good, but I have found that ASHI affiliated inspectors are above average and do understand and know basics of wiring and electricity in the home.
 
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Old 06-05-12, 08:53 PM
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I lost a sell on my house because of a Home Inspector. I’ve also had to deal with their reports on a regular. In most cases (99.8% of the time) they are off base!!! ( He said I had a leak under my house—wrong. And My siding had nail pops—Hun. Idiot. My house was built in 2002, and I was trying to sell it in 2009. I believe the buyers took his report, and went with it.] Now I’m stuck with my house, because of the economy, and people in our community giving away their homes (quick sells), and foreclosures.
 
  #10  
Old 06-06-12, 05:00 AM
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Thanks for all the replies...

Yes, it's for an HVAC and I believe it was 40amps. So this is ok? No need to worry?

Thanks!
 
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Old 06-06-12, 06:00 AM
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es, it's for an HVAC and I believe it was 40amps. So this is ok? No need to worry?
Yes it is okay. All it needs is to be re-designated on both ends any color but green, white, or gray. Usual color used is red or black. It may be done with a band of colored electrical tape, felt tip marker, or paint.

Safety Note: Always turn off main breaker before working in the panel. When coloring the other end of the cable turn off the power at the panel.
 
  #12  
Old 06-06-12, 06:06 AM
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I would suggest going with colored electrical tape. It'll be a bit more of a pain to apply, but won't fade, or flake away.
All are valid however.
 
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